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divster
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby divster » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:05 pm

Thanks to everyone who posted about the UChicago interview- they were super helpful in my preparations. I had my interview this morning and got asked some of the questions listed already as well as these other ones:

What is a situation in which you were out of your element?

What is your preferred work style?

What do you like to do in your free time?


The "Why Chicago" question was asked in two parts- first she asked me what I am looking for in a law school and then asked me if there was anything specifically that drew me to UChicago. Thankfully I had enough different material to say for both questions but that might have easily thrown me off.

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Crowing
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby Crowing » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:23 pm

dnptan wrote:Switching mobile phone carriers


lololololol

hardest decision? that's livin' the dream.

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Crowing
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby Crowing » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:54 pm

I'd like to give a big thanks to kappycaft1, Lavitz, and Mr. Elshal - all of your information was really helpful for me when I was preparing for my Chicago interview. I figured I'd write a bit about what I did for my interview because I think it definitely played a big part in my admission.

Overall, I spent a few hours doing research and preparing for questions. The two most important questions to be ready for are the two that everybody seems to get asked: Why Law and Why Chicago.

Why Law should be as kappycaft1 said fairly straightforward; I would hope you already have some good reasons for why you want to pay so much money and spend three years in pursuit of a JD. The key is figuring out a good way to articulate those desires. I found that presenting this question through a sort of outline format was helpful; that is to say first I laid out what elements of a career in general were important to me then followed up by describing how the legal profession fit that criteria.

I talked about Why Chicago in a similar manner (e.g. what am I looking for in a law school -> how does Chicago provide those characteristics). The most important thing to emphasize here is to definitely have some strong and specific academic reasons for your interest. Obviously everybody is going to law school with the primary objective of securing good employment after graduation, but Chicago (and perhaps other schools too) definitely seem to like to hear about intellectual/academic interests with regard to law. Maybe all T-14 cultures are essentially similar, and certainly TLS wisdom says these things are trivial, but make sure to emphasize how specific professors, courses, clubs, clinics, etc. matter to you nonetheless.

After this you can probably expect at least one or two resume related questions. This is where you should look at your own resume and be able to identify the weaknesses of your application. I have something somewhat odd on my resume; it's not C&F related but it is strange enough that I knew adcoms would be curious about it so I prepared myself adequately for discussing it. Sure enough my 3rd question was about this - if you really care about what it is I can PM it but the point is try to identify your own weaknesses whether they be academic, extracurricular, work-related, or whatever.

For the rest of the interview, I highly recommend Mr. Elshal's idea regarding being prepared with various personal stories. There are a lot of different questions you could be asked; they could be about challenges, classes, professors, co-workers, or a million other things. It's not practical or even good to have answers prepared for all of them. Think about different events in your life that have shaped you as a person, and think about how each of these stories pertain to particular qualities like the ability to overcome challenges or work with others or w/e.

At the end of the interview, you'll be given some time to ask questions. Make sure you do your research and don't ask things that are easily answered on the website. Asking questions is also another opportunity for you to demonstrate your specific interests. For example I didn't have any leadership positions in UG and did very little extracurricular stuff, so I asked about clubs and clinics which indicated that I was interested in pursuing them in law school despite my background.

I dressed up in a suit and also wore dress shoes; for me it was less about paranoia than it was about just feeling complete. Idk about anybody else but I would feel rather weird wearing a suit and going around in socks.

As Chicago emphasizes, make sure to look at the camera and not the picture on Skype while you're talking. I found this to be easier if I actually didn't make the other person's video full-screened and instead just moved the window toward the top of my computer screen right under the webcam. That way even if I did glance at the image it was barely discernible from the other side. I also put a couple of post-its on my computer screen near the sides with some main points I wanted to talk about in case I needed them, but I ended up not looking at them and their presence was actually a little distracting so you may not want to bother. I didn't use headphones and also just used my laptop's built-in mic.

As always, make sure to practice with a friend before you do the actual thing. I'm pretty neurotic so I made a big deal out of getting the perfect angle on the camera, position of my chair, and even arrangement of stuff in the background. Overall, just relax and be yourself. I had my freak-out on the day before my interview so by the time the actual thing rolled around I was pretty calm :lol: Be prepared for the questions you're going to be asked, but don't rehearse things word by word. Just have in mind main ideas that you want to talk about and speak extemporaneously.

FWIW I only ended up having 5 questions and it seems like kappycaft1 and Lavitz had very few also. I've seen reports of some other people who had way more than that, but I assume the amount of questions is just dictated by how long you spend on the ones that you are asked. I was actually nervous after the interview because I thought I might have spoken for too long on my questions (4 minutes or so per) but I guess it worked out.
Last edited by Crowing on Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

brittanyamadino
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby brittanyamadino » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:02 pm

I recently had my interview with UChicago and I think it went well. Though I was nervous it really was a very laid back interview, took less than 20 minutes. I was somewhat panicking because my interviewer did not add me on Skype or call me until a few minutes past the set interview time. I was expecting to start the interview 5 mins earlier because of what the email instructions say, but all in all it went well. I got a few basic questions asked: 1) why law school, 2) why UChicago, 3) if I asked a professor to describe you what would they say, 4) if I asked a friend to describe you what would they say, 4) Favorite class in Undergrad, 5) Memorable accomplishment in your life, 6) If you could go back and re-do something in your life what would it be. That's all I can remember but all in all my interviewer was extremely nice. There was an opportunity for me to ask questions but was told that there was no need to feel like I had to that they were just trying to get to know the applicants on an informal type of basis. So I only asked one because it seemed like my interviewer was in a rush towards the end. We finished at exactly 20 minutes after the scheduled start time of the interview so all in all it was a 15 minute interview --it flew by.

donmincho
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby donmincho » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:10 am

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donmincho
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby donmincho » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:39 am

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Mr. Elshal
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby Mr. Elshal » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:20 pm

Had my Chicago interview recently and boy am I glad we have this thread :D

Here's the rundown:

Preparation:
Very little because I have just returned from a 3 week trip overseas and my body clock is trying to destroy me. Basically, I looked at the questions in this thread and tried to get a general sense of which of my stories could be applied to which questions (by stories, I mean anecdotes that describe certain traits or characteristics that I'd like to convey).

I wore a full suit and did not use an external microphone.

Questions:
Won't say my interviewer's name but the conversation flowed nicely, the interviewer was really welcoming and I found it easy to speak about myself. It was very clear that nobody was trying to bite my head off or trip me up. All in all, a great experience and by no means an uncomfortable one (except when I was thinking of answers, and then I felt a little awkward).

I had 8 questions, but they were mostly the same questions as many of the other posters, so instead of posting my questions, I'm going to compile everyone's questions into one list. I think this would be more helpful (sort of like a test bank to help you prepare).

Why law?
Why law now?
Why Chicago?
What am I doing between now and law school (I was a December graduate from UG)?
Resume related questions (questions about specific items or bullet-points on your rezzy).
Have you ever had a time when you were out of your element or comfort zone?
What is your greatest accomplishment?
If you could go back in time and redo one thing in your life, what would it be?
Discuss a memorable class or moment in a class.
Why did you choose your undergrad?
What is your preferred work style?
What do you do in your free time?
How would your professors describe you?
How would your peers describe you?
How would your coworkers describe you?
Do you have any questions for me?


Hopefully this will help other people prepare and achieve their dreams (wouldn't that be nice?). Good luck everyone, and please feel free to PM me if you feel you need more detail, or if you just wanna chat about interviewing in general. I am more than glad to help.

ETA if you want info about Harvard interviews, please see my post on the previous page

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PBateman1
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby PBateman1 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:26 pm

Anyone have any insight into the Georgetown group interviews?

Belly
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby Belly » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:27 pm

Hi all,

I participated in a group interview for Georgetown. There were about 10 of us and Dean Cornblatt sitting around a conference table. There weren't any personal questions beyond a very basic introduction. He divided us into two groups and gave us hypothetical situations. I think we had 20 minutes to discuss it as group. Then, we reconvened, and each group presented their ideas. Afterwards, he gave out a packet with more hypothetical situations, and he asked each person how they would respond. He was very nice, and the tone of the interview was pretty lighthearted. It lasted almost exactly an hour, but there was another group coming right after us, so this might vary a little more if you are in the last group.

He said his goal was to interview 1000 applicants, and I guess they do alumni interviews as well. So...I'm feeling like the interview didn't really have any significance other than I have ties to the DC area. He also said he'd interviewed as few as 4 people at a time and as many as 18, so this may vary as well.

I hope that's helpful. I know I was a little vague about what we actually did, but I have a feeling that probably varies between groups as well. Also, I feel a little weird telling exactly what we did. I guess I will say that it was themed around law school admissions.

Don't stress! It was actually kind of fun.

Belly

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venus
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby venus » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:01 pm

I had my U Chicago interview this week. I'd love to contribute to this discussion but every question I was asked has been covered already, so the best way to prepare is probably to do some research on the school and know what exactly it is you like about it, and then read the questions listed above and have a general idea of how you could answer them. In my opinion, interviews always feel a little forced, so I wouldn't recommend overpreparing, studying your answers and rehearsing because your answers will then be even more forced and unnatural than the process calls for. Good luck everyone!

GeneralMuffin
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby GeneralMuffin » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:53 pm

I used this thread to succesfully (!!) prepare for my Harvard interview, so I figured I would add any additional information I could. :D

My interview was ultimately with JS, and probably lasted about 15 minutes.

Preparing
I wasn't sure if the interview would be with JS or KB, so I went through the common questions (Why Law, Why Harvard, etc) and spent an hour or two just talking over my answers with my boyfriend. I didn't prepare specific phrasing, but it was helpful to actually articulate why I wanted to go to law school (since I had honestly never put the thought into words before). As for "Why Harvard," I did some research into notable alumni, LRAP, etc. I also spoke with a number of Harvard alumni at my firm who had a bunch of interesting facts and anecdotes about their time in law school. I ultimately did not need most of this, but I felt more comfortable having answers ready.

I wore a suit (no shoes!), and made sure to check the camera angle and ensure that you couldn't see how messy my room was over Skype. :lol:

Questions
JS did not ask any of the standard "why" questions. She asked about my volunteer work, which I had written my personal statement about, and what area of law I would like to go into. I was honest - I don't know what specific area, but I like working with people, especially when they need help during times of crisis. She asked a bit about my job (what do I like, what do I dislike, do I feel like I get to help people? Honest answer - no, I don't). I was able to ask one or two questions, I thanked her for the interview (and may have mentioned how much I love Legally Blonde :wink: ), and the interview ended.

Takeaway
JS is really, really friendly, and I had fun talking to her. Talking with my boyfriend to prepare helped immensely because we ended up going off on a tangent about my volunteer work, and I was much more comfortable talking about it during the interview.

My numbers are on the lower side for Harvard (at least compared to a bunch of people here), and I think my personal statement (as well as a fantastic LOR from my boss) is what ultimately got me the interview. JS talked a lot about building a class of people who are "passionate," and I think my demonstrated advocacy work made up for my comparatively lower numbers.

read2465
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby read2465 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:28 pm

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Last edited by read2465 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mr. Elshal
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby Mr. Elshal » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:40 pm

read2465 wrote:What are your thoughts on thank you notes post-interview? An email? Pen/paper? If it were a job interview that would be a given, but for this kind of thing I'm not so sure.


Pen and paper is a pretty slow method and I don't know how keen they are on reading the mail. I did an email but received no indication that that was read either.

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Yukos
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby Yukos » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:24 pm

I didn't send a thank you for either interview and was accepted to both schools (UChi and HLS).

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Crowing
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby Crowing » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:43 pm

read2465 wrote:What are your thoughts on thank you notes post-interview? An email? Pen/paper? If it were a job interview that would be a given, but for this kind of thing I'm not so sure.


didn't think it was necessary for a short skype interview like that. would've done it for in-person though.

20141023
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby 20141023 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:29 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

read2465
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby read2465 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:03 am

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Last edited by read2465 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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JXander
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby JXander » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:57 pm

This thread is fantastic. Thank you all for the time you have spend typing up this information. I have my interview with Texas in about a week, and I know this will help.

What are your thoughts on attire (in terms of tie, color, etc. choice)? I think there was some discussion on this in the Chicago thread, but I would like to hear everyone's thoughts.

Is red too striking? Blue too soft? Solids too boring? I have a very dark brown skin color; what would correspond well with it? I usually wear a purple shirt and a matching white and purple striped tie because it usually receives compliments on the choice at my debate/Moot Court tournaments.
...
Or am I waaay over-thinking this? :P (I know the preparation aspect in terms of the questions definitely takes priority, but I am curious what your opinions are on this matter.)

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Mr. Elshal
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby Mr. Elshal » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:05 am

JXander wrote:This thread is fantastic. Thank you all for the time you have spend typing up this information. I have my interview with Texas in about a week, and I know this will help.

What are your thoughts on attire (in terms of tie, color, etc. choice)? I think there was some discussion on this in the Chicago thread, but I would like to hear everyone's thoughts.

Is red too striking? Blue too soft? Solids too boring? I have a very dark brown skin color; what would correspond well with it? I usually wear a purple shirt and a matching white and purple striped tie because it usually receives compliments on the choice at my debate/Moot Court tournaments.
...
Or am I waaay over-thinking this? :P (I know the preparation aspect in terms of the questions definitely takes priority, but I am curious what your opinions are on this matter.)


I was actually in on that discussion in the Chicago thread (if we're thinking of the same one). I don't think you're over-thinking, but that's because these are the aspects I like to think about to.

I'm not sure about what goes well with different skin tones, and I can't really answer your question about the purples without knowing what shades they are (although I like purple and my gut instinct says it'll work fine). Instead, here's a general list of rules, tips, and pieces of advice that I've picked up and which should give you a launching pad. You can deviate from this, but it should give you a good place to start.

First: You just don't want to stand out for the wrong reasons. No adcomm will admit you simply because you had a nicer tie than everyone else. Your best bet, generally, is to blend in with whatever everyone else is doing. Stand out for your accomplishments and personality, not for your attire.

Second: Navy or grey suits are generally the safest bet. They are conservative and unassuming, while also giving an air of power and confidence (assuming it fits right and is worn properly).

Third: For your shirt, wear a light color. White and blue are considered the go-to colors, but I've worn really pale purples and beiges before without any issue. Your color should be classic or spread. Nothing too funky or out of the ordinary. No French cuffs, just plain old buttons.

Fourth: For your tie, colors like blue and grey are obviously safe (there's a theme here lol), but certain shades of other colors work nicely too. For both my interviews (Chicago and Harvard) I wore a purple and grey tie with a spread-collared white shirt and grey suit. You can definitely make a case for pink or beige, but colors like green and red can be a little risky sometimes. Regarding the tie knot, "Four in hand," "Half Windsor," and "Windsor" are all safe bets, but if you have a spread collar, the four in hand may not look too good. For the tie pattern, relatively narrow diagonal stripes are safest, pictures of cartoon characters are the worst idea ever (for an interview). Everything in between is up to your judgment.

Fifth: Your belt should match your shoes in color, and preferably in material and pattern (don't wear black wingtips and a woven black canvas belt).

Sixth: Some warnings: Do not wear a black tie, white shirt, and black suit. You will look like you're mourning the death of your application. Do not wear cuff links. Do not wear a tie bar (this one is debatable). Do not wear a pocket square. Do not wear a suit that has horizontal stripes (for examples, see Google search results for "zebra").

Gisney
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby Gisney » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:45 pm

Had my interview with Chicago recently and she asked pretty much the same questions from the list posted earlier with one exception:

"Who most influenced your decision to go to law school?"

So keep that one in mind as well

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JXander
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby JXander » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:47 pm

Gisney wrote:Had my interview with Chicago recently and she asked pretty much the same questions from the list posted earlier with one exception:

"Who most influenced your decision to go to law school?"

So keep that one in mind as well

That's a good one, thanks.

talesofyore
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby talesofyore » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:06 pm

Does anyone else find the "do you have any questions for me?" to be the hardest part? By the time I do an interview I've usually researched the school so thoroughly that I can only ask questions to which I already know the answer. Any ideas?

20141023
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby 20141023 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:44 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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JXander
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby JXander » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:46 pm

talesofyore wrote:Does anyone else find the "do you have any questions for me?" to be the hardest part? By the time I do an interview I've usually researched the school so thoroughly that I can only ask questions to which I already know the answer. Any ideas?

My experience has been that even if you do know "all the answers," (or questions, in this case, which I still doubt it) it's one of the most important parts of the interview. They want to know how truly interested you are in the law school and how much thought you've put into the institution. If you have really dreamed about going to this school, there has to be something about it on which the interviewer can elaborate.

Always, always, always ask them questions. If you frame them to what makes you stand out and even stump them (as long as it's not a totally stupid question) with a insightful question, then they'll remember you more and the interviewer will leave thinking, "Wow, she really does care about this place to be referencing such aspects of University of X."

talesofyore
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Re: A Guide to Law School Admissions Interviews

Postby talesofyore » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:39 am

Thanks both of you! I always do ask questions, but it's just that they always feel so contrived to me. I think I saw on another post that someone asked "Do you have any doubts about admitting me that you would like to discuss?" or something like that. I kind of like that one. Do you think it's too blunt?




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